Sunday, 19 October 2008

The man in the picture


I was volunteered to be the linesman at my son's football match and managed to miss two offside decisions, gifting the opposition two goals they would not otherwise have had. Excellent.

I decided to do a little research on adult horror fiction when I went to London on Friday and bought a selection of books I may review at a later date. I read the beginning of all of them, but the only one that compelled me to carry on was Susan Hill's The Man in the Picture.

Now this may not be surprising. There is a strong link with my latest writing here. The story concerns a Cambridge scholar talking to an old student - and Hill must have had M R James in mind. The story itself - involving a creepy painting of a carnival scene in Venice - is very much in M R James territory.

But the appeal lies in the quality of the writing. Susan Hill does this kind of thing brilliantly. It is short - almost an extended short story - and I haven't finished it yet, but what a lovely thing it is so far.

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